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Who Should Read This Book?

If you happen to be in a bookstore right now deciding whether to purchase this book, studies show we have about 30 seconds to convince you. Not much time for persuasion, so we'll just give the facts. If you are already an expert in one or more Adobe programs, this book helps bring you to a full circle of understanding and using software to create your vision.

On the other hand, a lot of us aren't experts. We know a little bit of this and a little of that. This book helps fill in the gaps—so you not only understand the concepts in the Creative Suite 2, you get the work done. Our goal is to get you quickly and intimately involved in the Creative Suite 2 and help you pass that class you might be taking or tackle the new responsibilities that you've just been handed at your job. We understand that you not only need to know the Hows, but also the Whys of graphics, design, and printing. We also know to keep those Whys brief and easy.

The authors make some assumptions about your skill level. We assume you know how to use a mouse or other pointing device and that you have browsed the web, sent email, and used general office software. If you haven't grasped these general computing tasks, this book isn't for you. This book also isn't for you if you are a seasoned pro in all the Creative Suite programs. We have set our sights on giving you a manual for getting a foothold, not a lengthy academic study on specific areas. If you need a huge resource on color or Bézier geometry, this book is not for you.

Good luck—and make your decision soon because that lady has been waiting a while to look at the shelf you're leaning on.

Why Choose the Special Edition?

There are a lot of books on Adobe software. Some are better than others. We believe that most people are looking to learn as much as they can, without having it interfere with the rest of their lives. The Special Edition is designed to be friendly to your schedule and strong with information on things you'll likely encounter and question.

This volume is thorough but not exhaustive. A good book should not be intimidating in either its vocabulary or its size and weight. Most importantly, we've taken care to address how the Adobe Creative Suite 2 integrates its different programs so that you can integrate your workflow. There are so many things to learn in the Creative Suite, but the most common question people have is how they can bring their file from one program to another the right way. Understanding how the programs relate—and being able to use those relationships effectively—makes designing more fun and makes working with a team a heck of a lot easier. When you are certain that you know how to make graphic or page files compatible with your other programs, you have really gained confidence and you are able to reuse and repurpose your work.

Why Choose the Adobe Creative Suite?

If you haven't decided whether to buy just one Adobe program or the whole suite, we encourage you, if you have the means, to get the entire Creative Suite 2. If you are a budding creative professional, having the Creative Suite 2 makes sharing files with others very easy. You also will find that the Creative Suite 2 will pay for itself fairly quickly, not only with freelance projects you might take on but with the time you save by having all these tools at your disposal. It will open up opportunities for you to expand your toolset and give you more to offer to clients, customers, or your employer. With the Adobe Creative Suite 2 as a whole, you get more than the sum of its parts, and it's certainly cheaper than buying programs one at a time.

How This Book Is Organized

We thought long and hard about how to arrange this book so the information is logically presented. We wanted to give you the right information up front but still make it easy to jump around to the programs you use most. We begin with a chapter on the basics of the Creative Suite to orient you with the whole package. Because Adobe Photoshop is the most popular program in the Suite, we combined Photoshop and its companion ImageReady in Part I.

Part II explores Adobe Illustrator and all the vector fun therein. Part III is devoted to Adobe InDesign and how to create beautiful and memorable documents. Learn how to make interactive websites with Adobe GoLive in Part IV that are fun for everybody. Understand how to build and share lightweight press quality PDF documents in Part V with Adobe Acrobat 7.0.

Finally to wrap up this Special Edition, visit the book's website for bonus chapters that cover advanced Acrobat techniques, Adobe Designer, and Adobe Distiller.

Common Concepts

In this book, we address both the Macintosh and the Windows platforms. Because the modifier keys on the keyboard differ between Windows and Macintosh, we use the following system of key identification:

  • and Ctrl: The Mac Command key and the Windows Ctrl key are modifier keys that do nothing on their own and are always used in conjunction with another key and/or another modifier key.

  • Option and Alt: The Option key on Mac and the Alt key on Windows are also modifier keys that are used in conjunction with other keys.

  • Control-click, right-click: Although Mac OS has always supported multibutton mice and right-clicking (the machines just ship with single-button mice), we'll still use the traditional Control-click instruction, indicating the user holds down the Mac's Control key and clicks the mouse button (the left button on multibutton mice). Windows users click the right mouse button.

You may see a couple of modifier keys used with another key. For example, when we discuss the default keyboard shortcut used for copying to a new layer in Photoshop, you will see this convention used: -Shift-J (Mac users) or Ctrl+Shift+J (Windows users).

Visit www.samspublishing.com and search on this book's ISBN (0789733676). From this page you can download bonus chapters to enhance your Creative Suite 2 experience.

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